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The "O" Antiphons

What am I reflecting on today? I always know that Christmas is really upon us when we start saying the "O" Antiphons in the liturgy.

These are sung or said as an introduction to the Magnificat at evening prayer and also as an acclamation before the reading of the Gospel at Mass. They date back to the fourth century and are based on the seven Messianic titles of Christ.  They recall the many ills of man before the coming of the Redeemer.

Each antiphon denotes an attribute of the coming Christ: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Dayspring), O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations), O Emmanuel (O With Us is God) and announce Jesus as our Teacher, our Redeemer, our Liberator, our Guide, our Enlightener and our Saviour.


i always loved the O Antiphons

they once were the stars of something i created
right out of college i was working for a catholic social work agency in New York City
our office had glass fronted bookcases
for christmas i painted a symbol for each antiphon on one of the glass panels
we liked them do much we kept them up until lent